CDC: Teen Vaping Rates Down 27 Percent
It is the first decline in the teen vaping trend since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started surveying users back in 2011.
Vaping rates among U.S. teens have fallen from 3 million in 2015 to 2.2 million in 2016, according to a survey released on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vape pens, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that typically contain a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled.
Campus Safety previously reported on vape pens also being used to smoke marijuana.
“We do know that e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth and that’s been the case since about 2014,” says the CDC’s Deputy Director for Research Translation, Brian King.
The CDC cites a few possibilities as to why the trend has dropped.
One is a federal regulation that was established in August, banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The regulation also requires a photo ID for purchases.
The other is the increase in ad campaigns discouraging kids and teens from smoking.
In a report from NBC News, Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, stated “Our progress stems directly from implementing proven strategies, including higher tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws, effective FDA oversight of tobacco products and marketing, well-funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs, and hard-hitting media campaigns, like the campaigns conducted by the CDC, the FDA and Truth Initiative in recent years.”
Teen Vaping by The Numbers
The survey conducted by the CDC consists of a questionnaire that is filled out each year by approximately 20,000 students in Grades 6-12. It focuses on current users who are defined as teens who say they have used a tobacco product within 30 days of taking the survey.
In 2016, 7.2 percent of middle school students reported current use of a tobacco product and 3.1 percent reported current use of two or more tobacco products.
E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among this group with 4.3 percent reporting its use, followed by 2.2 percent for cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco.
One such question specifically asks “During the past 30 days, on how many days did you use electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes?”
In addition to the drop in vaping, the survey provides promising numbers surrounding all forms of tobacco use by teens. Some of these statistics include:
- The number of middle and high school students using any form of a tobacco product fell from 4.7 million in 2015 to 3.9 million in 2016.
- 4 percent of middle school students said that they had vaped in 2016, compared to 5 percent in 2015.
- 11 percent of high school students said that they vaped in 2016, compared to 16 percent in 2015.
Although these numbers are promising, the American Lung Association is concerned with cuts in President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal.
The proposal will cut $1.2 billion from the CDC, eliminating the Office on Smoking and Health, according to the American Lung Association’s CEO, Harold Wimmer.
“Funding to states would also be severely cut, making it even harder to prevent and reduce tobacco use in local communities across the country. Congress must reconsider this ill-advised budget and robustly fund the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.”
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